New artwork to celebrate history of creative teaching in Sheffield

How one of the proposed artworks could look. Photo: Sheffield Hallam University
How one of the proposed artworks could look. Photo: Sheffield Hallam University
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New public art celebrating Sheffield's creativity could be installed in one of the city centre's historic buildings.

Sheffield Hallam University has revealed plans for three separate works that will help give a new look to the former Head Post Office building, now known as the Sheffield Institute of Arts.

The Sheffield Institute of Arts in the old Head Post Office building. Photo: Sheffield Hallam University

The Sheffield Institute of Arts in the old Head Post Office building. Photo: Sheffield Hallam University

The university spent £9 million renovating the Grade II-listed building off Fitzalan Square in order to provide a new home for its art and design department.

Students moved in last year, and the university now hopes to add to the creative focus with three works of art.

The most noticeable will be a typographic design on the back wall that uses text from an 1843 report about the city by George Calvert Holland called ‘The Vital Statistics of Sheffield’. It focuses on the rivers and hills that shape Sheffield.

Also outside the building, a stainless steel panel on the external wall of the stairwell turret will commemorate the institute's history.

A laser cut map and postcodes would show the various locations of the school since it was founded in 1843, and according to the planning application submitted this week would also tidy up 'one of the few unsightly areas'.

Finally, engraved brass tiles will be installed in the of the old post hall to fill gaps in the original mosaic floor.

Each will be individually cast, according to the plans, showcasing the 'huge range of metalwork techniques which are taught and used in the building'.

Head of the department of art and design Claire Lockwood said: “We are all looking forward to the new look we will be giving Sheffield Institute of Arts’ home.

"SIA moved into the building in 2016 and it is such a wonderful building to work in. We want to continue to breathe new life into it and we think this project will do just that.

"The external designs are a call back to the craft of hand painted adverts with the new artwork celebrating the city’s creativity.

“Inside the building, metal working techniques will be used to create ‘replacement’ tiles for the original mosaic floor in the old Post Hall – now our café and gallery.

"We are also planning a commemorative plaque which will sit where the old posting boxes were, celebrating our institutions’ own history, and the many sites we have occupied around Sheffield, from the Bath Tavern, through to Psalter Lane, and back to the city centre.”